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Here’s Hyundai’s Mid-Engined Sports Car Prototype Out Testing With Hybrid Power

And our math shows it could have close to 400 horsepower.

With the Hyundai Veloster-based RM19 all but confirmed to be a testbed for a potential mid-engined sports car, fans of affordable midship machinery are hanging their hopes on Hyundai—not Toyota—to make the mid-engined dream a reality for mortals again. And as of Tuesday, that dream’s alive and kicking like a mule, because a new mid-engined Hyundai has been spotted on a flatbed in Korea, wearing the name “MR23T.”

A photo of the Hyundai MR23T (likely just a prototype codename, not a model nameplate) surfaced Tuesday on the forum of Bobaedream, which appears to be South Korea’s equivalent of Autotrader. Like the RM19, the MR23T shares most of its bodywork with the Veloster N, though its large rear-fender intakes out it as a mid-engined car rather than a run-of-the-mill, front-engined Veloster.

While the original poster couldn’t offer any specifics on the MR23T, possible details of the prototype found their way to the English-language internet in a post on The Korean Car Blog. Citing sources presumably within Hyundai or one of its suppliers, the blog alleges that the MR23T is powered by a 2.3-liter turbocharged engine with direct injection, whose power isn’t known. Assuming this engine offers the same power density as the smaller 2.0-liter “Theta II” GDI found in the Veloster N, which generates 271 horsepower, the 2.3 GDI on its own could produce around 312 horsepower, and that’s without the hybrid assist KCB claims it’ll get from an 80-horsepower electric motor. Add these two numbers together, and you’ll get a figure almost identical to the 390 horsepower produced by the RM19.

KCB‘s source reportedly added that the MR23T’s Veloster body is only being used to test the powertrain, whose final implementation could be a radically different vehicle. Coincidentally, Hyundai’s executive vice president of product and strategy Thomas Schemera, stated while at the head of the N performance division that the brand was brainstorming ideas for a halo car, one which N‘s new head and former BMW M boss Albert Biermann says could go for the throat of entry-level Porsches.

Regardless of what the RM19 and MR23T portend of Hyundai’s sports car plans, it’s clear the Korean carmaker won’t let its first mid-engined sports car go off like a wet firecracker. Assuming the delightful Veloster N sets the standard for hot Hyundais, the Porsche Cayman may soon have a challenger to the mid-engined throne.

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